Will he or won't he? That's the question on the minds of nervous Howard Stern fans when it comes to the renewal of his contract with SiriusXM satellite radio.

As we recently reported, there's just one issue in dispute between the two parties, but it's a big one: money. As the clock continues to tick, devotees of the undisputedly most successful talk radio host ever are looking for any kinds of clues or signs as to which way the radio king is leaning.

While the man who invented the term "shock jock" has been uncharacteristically mum on-air regarding his future plans, there have been a few moments on his show recently during which he cautiously addressed the issue. A caller on Tuesday's show asked Stern point blank what he planned to do, begging him not to retire. Stern jokingly replied that he has no idea what he's doing, but added that if he were in fact planning to move his show to another platform, he would not promote it on his SiriusXM radio show because in the past, he was sued by CBS when he encouraged listeners during the last days of his terrestrial radio show to move along with him to satellite when it ended.

Howard also gave listeners a glimmer of hope when another caller asked him to repeat a fan favorite bit, in which Stern plays an "ISIS Hotline" operator fielding calls from potential terrorists. The host claimed that the segment, in which he manically switches voices, impersonating both the calls and the responses, takes too much out of him to perform again so soon, but he could revisit it, "maybe in the future."

The only statement Stern has made off-air recently regarding his impending contract expiration came when a reporter asked him about it at a late November New York City gala known as "Get Your Escape On," which took place at the Pierre Hotel.

"We're talking to people about the future," Stern coyly responded. "I'm interested in continuing working, but we'll see where it lands. You don't know till the contract's signed. I can just say I'm interested in continuing on the radio. Where I end up, I don't know yet."

Stern's last scheduled radio show is set for Dec. 16.  In 2010, when his last contract renewal was in question, Howard announced his new five-year deal on Dec. 9. If history is any indicator, that means there's an excellent chance we'll find out the status of "The Howard Stern Show" on SiriusXM Radio sometime next week.

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